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Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

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Elliot Del Borgo

Elliot Del Borgo

General Info

Year: 1978
Duration: 11:25
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Shawnee Press
Cost: Score and Parts - $110.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Cornet or B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Celesta (or Piano)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Claves
  • Cymbal (crash and suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Field Drum
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Triangle (large)
  • Wood Block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night was the motivation for this musical composition. While not a programmatic depiction of the poem, the work attempts to recreate the essence of the poem in sound.

The opening motive, representative of the life force, permeates much of the work. An Ivesian use of sound layers -- in the form of polytonal hymns -- calls to mind the struggles and persistence of the human spirit and its refusal to "go gentle."

- Program Note by Elliot Del Borgo

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night was commissioned in 1978 to commemorate Jill Marie Waterland and Mandy Doel, Del Borgo's two students who were tragically killed in a car accident. Based on Dylan Thomas’s poem of the same name, Del Borgo wanted to embody the “essence” of the poem.

- Program Note from State University of New York, Fredonia, All-College Band concert program, 8 November 2017

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Minnesota - Category I
  • Texas: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Idaho State University (Pocatello) Civic Concert Band (Erin Armstrong, conductor) – 13 November 2019
  • Heidelberg Wind Ensemble (East Ivanhoe, Victoria, Aus.) (Stephen Carpenter, conductor) – 26 October 2019
  • Grand Valley State University Wind Symphony (Kevin Tutt, conductor) – 13 October 2019
  • University of Central Arkansas (Conway) Wind Ensemble (Brantley Douglas, conductor) – 10 October 2019
  • Sacramento (Calif.) State University Concert Band (Matthew Morse, conductor) – 5 December 2018
  • Boston University (Mass.) Concert Band (Jennifer Bill, conductor) – 3 December 2018
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, All-College Band (David Turken, conductor) – 8 November 2017
  • Different Drummers' Capitol Pride Symphonic Band (Washington, D.C.) (Anthony Oakley, conductor) – 4 November 2017
  • Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Dobbins, conductor) – 4 November 2017
  • University of South Alabama (Mobile) Symphony Band (Jason Rinehart, conductor) – 26 September 2017
  • University of Colorado Boulder Concert Band (Matthew Dockendorf, composer) – 5 December 2016
  • Florida International University (Miami) Wind Ensemble (Brenton Alston, conductor) – 21 November 2016
  • New Jersey (Oakland) Concert Band (Michael Roth, conductor) – 6 May 2016
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Symphonic Band (Jackqueline Townsend, conductor) – 24 March 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works